MORE BIRDS OF VARIOUS FEATHERS – Marilyn Armstrong

I almost have my graphic software working again. There are also a few more downloads waiting for me to say “yes.” Right now, I’m in a very “no” kind of mood. Maybe Monday I’ll be ready to redo this whole mess again. Or maybe Tuesday.

Meanwhile, though I still have some fun pictures from yesterday’s dinner dervish by the feeders. And I still don’t know what those big grey birds are. They aren’t showing up in my bird book. And there’s a big white one that looks like a Tufted Titmouse, but he’s twice their size and he’s almost entirely white except for some slashes of black on his wings.

And one really fat white bird!
Name that bird!
Birds in sunlight
Handsome Chickadee
Sharing dinner
Tufted Titmouse (I think) about to take flight

And no doubt more tomorrow. As the weather gets colder, the birds get more audacious about feeding!

DINNERTIME AT THE FEEDERS – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s always a bit chaotic at dinner time which is right before sunset. But today, it was a birdie riot. Also, I want to mention that you should NEVER EVER let them download updates to your graphics software at 10:30 at night. I’ll get this sorted out, but it’s 2 hours later and nothing is working as it did before I stupidly let them download. I will never learn. I click and THEN I think.

Meanwhile, though, I got a few nifty pictures of the birds doing their dinner swirly thing. All the birds come to the feeder at about 4 o’clock and it’s just a riot.

It was indeed quite a get-together this evening!

Sharing? That never happens!
You’ve got to love that diving Chickadee!
Looks like Thanksgiving at the in-laws
And then, one flew away — but more will come!
Hunger beats out arguments!

There were a couple of Cardinals I missed, and two really fat doves and a few Blue Jays … and a few I still don’t recognize. But the crowd definitely made it to dinner tonight. Maybe tomorrow I can get my software working again!!

PORTRAIT OF A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER – Marilyn Armstrong

After the Blue Jay left, the Woodpecker hung around to enjoy a feed at the flat feeder. Woodpeckers aren’t picky and are just as happy eating from the hanging feeder.

I think they get to eat faster on the flat feeder.

For many critters, faster is better. Fewer interruption by other winged locals. I got some really good pictures of this guy.

This first one really shows how big and sharp that beak is. Add to that, his skull is twice as thick as other birds and he is very strong for his size. Other birds don’t want to mess with woodpeckers.

Two big Blue Jays tried to confront him today. For about 2 seconds and then they changed their minds and flew up into the trees. They were bigger, but one peck from this little guy’s beak and they would be goners.

A good look at the beak and head. This is one small, but tough bird!
Fabulous profile but messy eater
Testing the buffet
Aren’t I a handsome bird?

CHATTING AT THE FEEDER – Marilyn Armstrong

The one bird we are never short of around here are woodpeckers. We have at least five kinds. Only three of them come to the feeders: the little Downy Woodpecker, his big brother, the Hairy Woodpecker, and the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. The Red-Belly is the biggest of the bunch, but by physical size, the Blue Jay is a bigger bird.

I never realized what large birds Blue Jays are until I saw how big they are compared to the rest of our birds. Not, of course, counting the really big woodpecker who I see in the distance once in a while and the hawks and eagles.

Anyway, when the Blue Jay drops by for a meal, the other birds say “Yes sir, Mr. Jay,” and flutter off. Today, while big Mr. Jay was enjoying a little dinner, the Red-Belly decided to come by for a snack too. The Blue Jay is bigger, but other birds just don’t mess with the woodpeckers. Those birds have long beaks and hard heads and they are always in a grumpy mood. I think that’s from pounding their heads into oak trees all day long.

This is a series of pictures I got from the rather amusing event.

Blue is already there when the Red-Bellied Woodpecker arrives.
“Can we talk about this?” asks Mr. Jay.
“I don’t think so. How about you leave?” says Woody.
“This is MY feeder,” says Woody. “Take a flyer.”
“Okay, then. I’ll be flying a bit. See you around the woods,” says Jay.

The Red-Belly hung around for a while, it being dinner time. And when he was done, the Blue Jay came back and had his dinner too.  All was well but for some flurrying of feathers. As go the birds, so goes the world.

A SUNDAY LOOK AT THE INDOOR GARDEN – Marilyn Armstrong

An Indoor Garden – 11-3-2019

Taking pictures of birds today, I stopped and took some pictures of my indoor garden. The purple orchids are finally falling, but there are new shoots that I hope will replace them. And there are a lot of shoots on the other orchid too.

November and I bet there will be buds on the Christmas cacti soon. They sure do look healthy. Maybe too healthy. It’s time to water them less often I think.

A vertical look at my indoor garden

And then, this is what our woods looks like today. You can see how the oaks are all bronze. This is the month of the golden woods.

Downy Woodpecker in golden woods

BEFORE THE WINDS BLOW THE CREATURES MUST EAT – Marilyn Armstrong

There’s a story to go with these pictures. It’s one of my “Is my mind really going? Should I be taking something or stop taking something?”

I got lucky. I had the camera, I got a nearly perfect focus on the birds, the squirrel and then the chipmunk showed up too. It was the last golden leaves of Autumn. I took more than 100 pictures which I rarely do in the house.

This was a really busy day. I was running up and down to see how the contractor was doing and all three dogs were barking like mad.

And a Downy Woodpecker

Owen was coming in and out, bringing his stuff back. And my stairlift goes down ONE flight. I have to haul ass on the other stairs … and I’m off my pain meds because my body needs a break or at least, it sure feels like a break.

Looking for a few seeds?
Oh, look! I found a few seeds!

In the middle of this, there were all these creatures on the deck and I had a camera. They were incredibly cute and for once, I got the focus just about perfect — most of the time, anyway.

The Tufted Titmouse wants some food, too …
It’s all about the seeds. Really.

I thought about putting this post up later in the week, but it seemed so “now-ish” what with the storm coming and all the leaves coming down tonight.

Here is the story.

I took all these pictures and I did what I do … more to the point, I did what I thought I always do. I took the chip out of the camera and stuck it in the card reader in my computer. Then I watered all the plants (I’ve been intending to do it for a week), moved some money so I could pay the contractor, realized I’d run out of checks, realized I still had checks from when I first opened this account but I had to find them. (I did.)

I swear this squirrel was attached to the feeder from first thing in the morning until after dark. He NEVER stopped eating.

Somewhere in this process, I lost track of the chip with the pictures. I looked through every chip I own. I checked to make sure I really did take the chip out of the big Olympus.

Finally, my last hope, I looked in my mini Leica — which is the one I used to take pictures of the doors and the contractor — and there was the chip. Apparently, I pulled the chip out of the reader and stuck it in the other camera. I have no memory of doing it, but obviously, I did.

I keep saying miracles happen. I consider this to be one of them.

THE GOLDFINCH CAME HOME! – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s not the big flock I had last year, but three Goldfinch showed up today and hung around long enough for me to get their pictures. They were the stars of last winter’s bird portraits. They are so awfully cute.

Welcome home American Goldfinch

We also had a visitor I haven’t seen in years. It was a baby Chipmunk! We used to have hordes of Chipmunks chittering at us as they tried to take over the driveway. Then the bobcat showed up and he ate them. All of them. This is the first Chipmunk I’ve seen in at least five years. He was so little!

What a cute pair!
A Titmouse and his little pal

Hunting, I guess, for seeds left on the deck. For some reason, I didn’t take his pictures. I was so bedazzled just seeing him on the deck. I even had time to call Garry over to see him too, so I certainly could have taken his picture, but I was having so much fun watching her skitter around the deck looking for seeds.

A better version of a flying … wren?

The birds are coming back. Slowly. The Mourning Doves are still missing, but maybe they are just being shy. They are also a bit big for these feeders. They liked picking seeds from the deck. They are flat feeders.

On a positive note, we have lots of joyously singing Carolina Wrens.

Fair Lady Cardinal

Also, I saw, but he was gone before I could get the picture, a full red-headed woodpecker. Not the big one who looks like Woody. This one looks just like the Red-Bellied Woodpecker, but his entire head is completely red. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen one outside a bird book.

Sometimes, it’s good to live in the woods.